Music Download Sites – What Makes a Site Legal Or Illegal?

The introduction of music download sites to the internet has revolutionized the way we consume music. Though easier and much less expensive for consumers to get their hands on the latest music from the comfort of their home, the break through began with an illegal method of downloading music which unfortunately opened the door to others that are still around to this day. It is up to the consumer to be educated on which sites and services are legal to use, and which are not. To better understand the legality of music download sites, it is best to take a look at the first popular illegal online music download solution.

The start of illegal music downloads.

In 1999, the world was introduced to the first music file sharing software called Napster. Created by Shawn Fanning, the technology allowed users to share their music files freely with other users. This would bypass the entire legal music market and let anyone who could operate a computer and simple software get their hands on the music they wanted absolutely free. The software quickly became noticed as violating copyright laws as it never had permission from the artists or their labels to distribute these files.

Metallica, a heavy metal act, discovered one of their demo songs “I Disappear” was circulating and even played on certain radio stations before the track was ever released. They were of the first to file a lawsuit against Napster for copyright infringement. A month later, Dr. Dre also filed a lawsuit asking Napster to remove all of his content from the service. These acts, along with many record labels pursued Napster in court for the massive copyright violation.

The media embarked on the story and in turn, indirectly made the service even more popular, putting a spotlight on music file sharing and increasing the amount of active users to over 26 million in Napster’s final stages.

On June 3rd, 2002, Napster filed for bankruptcy but the damage was done. The world was introduced to file sharing and online music consumption. Many imitation sites and software sprung up after this incident and to this day, you can still find illegal peer-to-peer file sharing solutions offering illegal music downloads.

So what makes a music download site legal or illegal?

There are very basic principles a music download site needs to follow in order to provide legal music downloads. Simply put, they need permission to distribute each music file on the site from whoever owns the copyright of, or legally represents the music. This can be either the artist, the artists publishing company, and/or in most cases, the artists record label.

In our first example, Napster took copyrighted material and without permission decided to make these files freely available. Neither the artist nor record companies were compensated. This is where the big problem lies. Music is like any other product on the market. Someone or a team of people put time towards creating a song or album and are selling their product. If you want the product, you have to pay a legal distributor of that product so everyone who was involved in creating it gets compensated for their work. If they are not, and have not agreed to make it available for free, you are stealing their product.

With music, stealing songs is infringing on copyright laws which are in place to protect artists and labels, and assure they are in control of who can distribute their art while in turn, getting compensated when someone does buy a copy of a song or album.

I did not know the site was illegal. It is not my fault.

Well, unfortunately any way you look at it, it is your fault. You are responsible for your actions on any music download site or service. The small loop hole in file sharing software and sites is that a user can use it legally. If I create an eBook on the best music download sites for example, and as the writer and sole copyright owner, I choose to distribute it for free to anyone who wants to take a read, I can put it on file sharing software and sites. If anyone downloads it, it is legal as I am not looking for any compensation. In this case, the user of the file sharing software or site is not doing anything wrong.

If a user downloads a copyrighted file from an artist or label that is looking to being compensated and never gave permission to the source of the file to distribute it however, then the user who downloads it can get into trouble and it is completely their fault for not doing their research before downloading the music file.

How do I know if a music download site is legal or illegal?

In order for any music download site or service to distribute music files legally, they need a distribution agreement with the artists record label. To make things simple, if you are looking for music from top 40 artists, most of these acts are signed to one of the major record labels; Warner Music Group, EMI, Sony Music Entertainment, and Universal Music Group. A music download site would need a distribution agreement with these companies to legally make this music available on their site.

If a music download site went through the trouble of putting together a distribution agreement with the 4 major labels, chances are they are proud of the accomplishment and would have this written somewhere in their “FAQ” or “About Us” section of the site. If it is not written, it is up to you to contact them and make sure they have the legal right to distribute the music files you are looking for before you download anything from them.

In the end, our generation has the luxury of having many legal music download sites available to us. It is simply a question of doing a little research before hand and making sure you go with a site that suits your needs, has the music you are looking for, but more importantly, offers legal music downloads which rightfully compensate artists for their work.

Why Not Enjoy Unlimited Music Downloads?

Downloading music online may be on the lips of many music enthusiasts nowadays but to the uninitiated, it can be pretty confusing and sometimes difficult for the individual. Let us look at what the whole idea of downloading music online at membership sites that offer unlimited music downloads is all about.

Listening to music on CDs is now passé. It is not meant to sound offending but this is especially true amongst the younger generation today. Teens and young adults born after the 80s are now turning to digital music in MP3 format rather than playing music CDs on the portable CD player, which some of us affectionately remembered as the CD Walkman.

The reasons for choosing online music are obvious. Technology is so advanced that you do not have to carry a whole CD rack anywhere you go just to enjoy all your favorite songs. If that sounds exaggerating, a CD player packed with your favorite CD can at most offer you 20 of your compiled songs at max in exchange for you lugging the 6 inch gadget around in a bag. Contrast this with a small little gadget with the size of a matchbox or cigarette box that stores hundreds of songs, it becomes blatant why flocks of people are downloading music online.

It is affordable for most folks to download music files at iTunes if you are looking for one or two of your favorite hits. Though the selection is marvelous, with tons of songs, music and music videos and seemingly unlimited music downloads, however, it soon became clear to music enthusiasts that buying music to beef up their collection is denting their pockets. Now the juicy news is that there are new download sites that have sprung up, offering unlimited music downloads, including the latest soundtracks, music videos etc to members at incredibly low one-time prices. Imagine being able to download unlimited music files for the price cheaper than 2 DVDs. Isn’t that awesome?

Human beings are creatures of dilemma. When the choices are few, we grumble about the lack of choices. But when the download sites are numerous, we complain about the difficulty to select the right membership download site. Fret not, as there are a few quick tips to select an ideal site for unlimited music downloads.

1. Selection of Music

Be sure to search through the catalogue and stick with the one that offers you the right songs you wish to download.

2. Ensure Format Compatibility

The format of music files offered must be compatible with your portable media player, ie MP3 player. Look for sites that offer MP3 ready music files to save you the headache of converting the music files into playable format ie MP3.

3. Compare Pricings

Look at the pricing of each download site. All sites offer millions of files, and it is not wrong to say that they provide access to unlimited music downloads. As a smart consumer, paying the same price for 20 million songs at Site A rather than for 10 million songs at Site B sounds like a better deal isn’t it? However, be sure to check the selection.

I believe that this article has given you a brief introduction to the online world of unlimited music downloads. You can pick up more detailed tips on how to select a great music download site that suits your preference and read a review of the most popular sites at my blog.

This article may be freely reprinted or distributed in its entirety in any ezine, newsletter, blog or website. The author’s name, bio and website links must remain intact and be included with every reproduction.

Where to Find Unlimited Music Downloads in a Snap

Perhaps it interests you to know where to find unlimited music downloads. More and more people are familiar with downloading music from online sources that offer music downloads. It therefore interests them to know where to find unlimited music MP3s to download. Not only that, you may want to know how you can do so for a nominal fee, maybe a monthly or yearly subscription fee would be reasonable. This article would provide some details on several sites that offer such a service to you. You would also discover that there are actually online music download sites that offer unlimited music downloads for a one-off fee only.

Where to access unlimited music downloads for a monthly fee?

1. Rhapsody

Rhapsody is arguably one of the pioneers in the digital music industry. In fact, it is one of the original first sites to offer unlimited music downloads. You can also download their entire play list onto your player. Though you need to download and install a software in order to download music online from their website when Rhapsody first started business, today, you have the option to do a direct download. They also offer a limited number of free songs each month.

2. AOL Music Now

There are more than 2 million songs available at this site. The good thing about using this website to download music online is that you can download music directly without installing any software on your computer. For an extra $5 a month, you can download unlimited music to your portable digital player.

3. Napster

This is the new Napster unlike the old which was plagued with problems. Here you need to install a special proprietary software onto your computer in order to access the unlimited music downloads at the site. They have at least a million music files in their play list. The special “To Go” service allows you to download more than 90 percent of all the songs on the playlist onto your player.

As you can see, these are good options to get unlimited music downloads for your MP3 player. But if you still find the monthly fees a bit too pricey, you can always turn to other online music membership sites that offer lifetime memberships. Do not be surprised that several of these popular sites only charge you a nominal fee of lower than $40 to $50. It is becoming very popular among the teens and young adults since they are the heaviest users of music media files and the prices are within their reach.

But since there are dozens of such membership sites, the question of which is the best would often pop up. Different sites can vary in the number of song files, the variety and genre of music offered, the download speeds, the security of site, the cost of membership and so on. So from what you can see, there are quite a number of choices and decisions you got to make when selecting an online music site to download music online. To find out the answers to which are the top download sites for unlimited music downloads, visit my music blog and read up the juicy news.

Are Free Music Download Programs-FREE

Before you use one of those free music download programs you may want to compare them with the legal file-sharing programs to help you make a decision.

There are many free music download software programs available to download free music online. It seems like there are new “Ares download, free music download web sites” entering the Web everyday.
Getting a free KaZaA music download is all I here my students talk about in class. Asking each other where to download free music or download and burn free music. They talk about sites to find Inuyasha music downloads, Final Fantasy music downloads, even cell phone music downloads.

Are free music download programs…FREE?

It all depends on what you want. Some offer Pro versions which have no ads or pop-ups. But do be cautious with most of the free music download software, they will have adware, spyware and pop-ups.

KaZaA music download-KaZa Lite music download

Limewire music download

Ares music download

Shareaza music download

WinMX music download

Imesh music download

Free Grokster Download

Poisoned

These programs are free… but they have some problems.
Basically, the difference between free file-sharing programs and file-sharing programs that you pay for is as follows. With the pay programs such as Mp3 Advance, MP3 Music Subscription and DownloadShield, you get technical support, no pop ups, no adware or spyware, most offer privacy protection, and your money back if you’re not happy with the program.

With the totally free music download programs, unless you buy their Pro version, which some of them are more expensive than the pay programs mentioned above, you’re pretty much on your own along with the ads and pop ups and don’t forget the spyware. It’s your choice.